Cottonwood Wash

My family and I did another fun ATV ride in the snow yesterday, this time near the Cleveland-Lloyd dinosaur quarry (GPS tracklog). I parked the truck a couple of miles past the quarry turnoff, then rode along Cottonwood Wash until it met up with Red Holes Wash. Not far from there, the trail crossed over some hills and followed a ridgeline down toward the Price River. We didn’t make it quite as far as the river because the trail was becoming treacherous with all the snow drifts. Many of the hills we’d ridden down didn’t seem bad at the time, though trying to get back up them was difficult. The snow wasn’t terribly deep, but it was powdery and silky and difficult to push through. We placed a geocache near our turnaround point where there was a good view of the river gorge and the cabin down on Sage Flat. It took us a long time to get up one part of the trail and we ended up getting stuck out after the sun had gone down. It got pretty damned cold then, and for the last few miles of trail the kids kept asking if we were close to the truck yet. The sunset was gorgeous though, and it was worth being out that late just to see it.

For most of the ride we were actually following somebody else’s ATV tracks in the snow. I didn’t expect to see other tracks, but whoever it was had gone farther than we made it. On our return trip back to the truck, we took a different route and ended up breaking trail again for most of it. In fact, in several places I lost the trail completely and either had to backtrack or ride cross-country to regain it. I plan on returning to that trail in the spring when the snow is gone. According to the BLM map of the area, the trail goes all the way to the river, then goes downstream for several miles. I would like to get closer to the old cabin on Sage Flat, even if I have to hike part of the way just to see it up close. The short days and deep snow prevented me from doing that yesterday, but I was only half a mile from the cabin this time.
I spent today driving up north with Traci to try and find some decent winter boots for her. The boots she has now aren’t really meant for snow, and her feet have gotten wet and cold on our last couple of ATV rides. What baffles me is that we’ve checked out literally a dozen or more stores that sell shoes, but haven’t been able to find a pair suitable for the snow. We looked at a few places in Utah County last week, and today we went as far north as Sandy and still couldn’t find anything. The trip wasn’t a total waste, since we came home with several pizzas from Papa Murphy’s. I ended up ordering some boots for Traci online, and it cost more than I was hoping to spend, but at least she’ll be more comfortable for the few remaining ATV trips that we take this winter.

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